The reporting season gets into swing next week, with Nordea the first Nordic bank to lay out it stall in 2012, with Q4 and year-end results due on Tuesday, and other Nordic banks set to follow suit in the following weeks.
Yet, while last year was marked by a succession of announcements around job cuts and cost efficiencies, analysts are – at least for now – not expecting further redundancies to be unveiled.
“Nordea has already made its big jobs announcement last year, so I do not think we are going to see any surprises or anything to top that,” predicts one analyst.
“Of course if things do change or get worse than expected then it is possible we might see further job cuts being announced throughout the year,” he adds.
While most of the Western banking sector is expecting the cuts announced at the tail end of 2011 to be the first of many, most Nordic banks may have already finished their redundancies.
“What the Nordic banks have already outlined is probably as far as it is going to go, at least in the short term,” says another banking analyst. “To that end I do not think we are going to see any dramatic changes. The Nordic banks generally have already set out flat cost targets and underlying revenues have not been weak enough to mean that will have to change.
“Sweden is probably doing the best at the moment and Denmark the worst. One area that we are hoping is going to be looking stronger is corporate lending,” he adds.
SEB year-end results are expected on February 7, Danske and DnB Nor are both due to report on February 9 and Swedbank on February 14.